Writing Group: I Locked Myself in Here

Don’t let me out, Anchorites, Submariners, and Escape Artists!

Welcome to my cell. Oh, no, that really isn’t necessary. I know you think you’d be rescuing me but…well, I don’t think your human mind is quite ready to understand. I’m just fine. Because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

I Locked Myself in Here

Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

This prompt is deliciously angsty, and one that I am quite excited for. Usually being locked in is an unwanted fate. But what happens when someone puts themselves in a cage? My mind spins with many possible reasons one might do so, and that is where the fun begins. 

You could write about a werewolf-type situation, where a character knows they will transform somehow and, to protect their loved ones, they lock themselves away. This could be something that happens for a single night beneath the full moon, it could be for a week (perhaps someone who asked to become a vampire knows they can’t control their cravings), or it could be for longer if someone knows they will permanently become a monster (such as a zombie). This transformation doesn’t necessarily have to be violent, though. Think of Hermoine, when she accidentally used cat hair in the polyjuice potion. Even a terrible villain might have a cuteness spell cast on them, and they lock themselves away so their henchmen won’t see them. 

That idea of not wanting to be seen doesn’t just apply to magical situations. A child who cut their own hair, or did their own makeup for the first time, might hide away, not wanting anyone to see them. Or perhaps they lock themselves away because they broke a rule and don’t want to be punished. A teenager might lock themselves in the school bathroom after getting pantsed in front of the whole cafeteria. Even an adult might hide in the broom closet at work because they don’t want their coworkers to see them cry. 

Another, more realistic, take is mental illness. There is a wide variety of possibilities for why a mental illness might cause someone to lock themselves away. Someone in a manic or psychotic episode might lock their office door and rave to themselves. Someone who regularly experiences dissociative fugues might lock themselves away so that they don’t wake up and find themselves in another town over. Someone with a particularly intense anxiety disorder might lock themselves away because they’re afraid of the world outside. Someone with depression might lock themselves in their room, unable to do anything but lay in bed. 

There is an idea that “Hell’s gates are locked from the inside.” You could play with this idea in many different ways. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, uses it well. The ghost of Marley says: “I wear the chain I forged in life…I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.” This could be an interesting direction to take the prompt. What choices of ours symbolically lock us away? Sometimes you might feel as if you are watching this happen from the outside—anyone who knew Scrooge could see he created his own chains through his miserly living. Perhaps you could write about what it’s like to watch someone lock themselves away…even though they don’t see the spiritual prison walls they’re creating. 

You could go even more literal than that. Oftentimes we lock pieces of ourselves away that we are afraid will get hurt. You could write about how someone locked a part of themselves away in their own heart—they don’t let their creativity shine, they hide their sensitivity, they don’t let themselves pursue their true passion in life. 

Even an event could count as this. It makes me think of the Sanders Sides episode where Thomas wants to go to an acting callback…but he promised his friends he would go to their wedding, and can’t back out now. He “locked” himself into that event. There are lots of plans I could see someone feeling like they’re locked into that they can’t get out of. 

Even simply a promise can be a locking mechanism, regardless if it’s tied to a calendar date. A character will often want to get out of a promise, but they can only blame themselves for making it in the first place. The Unbreakable Vow in Harry Potter is a particularly strong example of a promise you might lock yourself into. A contract is another type of promise that is particularly binding. Like how Ariel signed her life away to Ursula if she didn’t get Eric to kiss her within three days. Watching it, we know the agreement is ridiculous…but people still choose to make ridiculous agreements like this all the time.  

Even though I do love me some angst, I also love me some comedy, and this prompt has some great opportunities for that as well. A character might accidentally lock themselves in somewhere. Maybe a locksmith, while trying to fix a broken lock, ends up trapping themselves in the room. A character might build a maze…only to trap themselves inside it. Maybe someone locks themselves away during a party for some peace and quiet. A group of friends could ‘rescue’ their friend from a cage…only for the person locked inside to look up placidly and ask them if they want tea. 

A character like Houdini would be a great use of this prompt as well. Houdini would often lock himself up in order to break himself out and amaze his audience. You could write about all sorts of magicians, escape artists, and the like who intentionally lock themselves up to break themselves out. You could also write about a character who purposely allows themselves to be imprisoned because they know they can get out. Maybe they are planning to help their previously captured friends escape, or they want to steal something from the palace, and the best way to do that is by letting themselves get thrown in the dungeon. 

My technical challenge to you this week is a result of one of our conversations during the “Under the Monster’s Bed” stream. I challenge you to use either asyndeton or polysyndeton in your story. (Bonus points if you use both). 

Polysyndeton is when you repeat conjunctions (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet), like so: I think I want ice cream, or cookies, or brownies, or waffles, or cake. Your brain focuses more on the conjunctions than the actual words, so it is often used to overwhelm the reader, and/or convey a character’s excitement, and/or convey their anxiety. (Eh? See what I did there?). 

Asyndeton is the opposite, the lack of conjunctions, including where there ordinarily would be one: I like ice cream, cookies, brownies, waffles, cake. (Note, there is no “and” before that final “cake” even though there ordinarily would be). “Veni, Vidi, Vici.” (“I came, I saw, I conquered.”) is perhaps the most famous example of this device. Asyndeton often really makes you pay attention to the specific words being said, with nothing to detract from them, and/or it can create a faster pace to the sentence. (Think about if the sentence was “I came, and I saw, and I conquered.” Can you see how the “and”s make the meaning of each individual phrase pop less, as well as slow down the sentence?) 

My content challenge also comes from a stream! (The “I Wasn’t Aiming for You” stream). This prompt lends itself well to introspection, and/or a character monologuing. If you do want to write one of these types of stories, my challenge to you is to intersperse the introspection/monologue with action to capture audience attention. Instead of being stuck in a person’s head or being “talked at,” add character bits that tell us more about who they are and who they’re talking to. Bonus points if the action of the story mirrors well the introspection! You can also do this in reverse: if you plan to write a more action-heavy piece, try interspersing it with some introspection! 

Remember, these challenges aren’t mandatory! They are meant to be a fun bonus if you’d like to have a little extra challenge. But, if you don’t want to use them, please don’t feel obligated to!

You see, little hero, reality is the true prison. I let them put me in here. That key in your hand is worthless. There’s another sort of key much more difficult to procure, and a lock hidden in the furthest reaches of your mind. When you unlock that door, well, you’ll realize these metal bars are nothing. 

—Kaylie & Pearce 

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

Rules and Guidelines

We read at least five stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
    2. Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
    5. Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
    6. Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
    7. No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    4. You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
    7. You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
    8. Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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Fog Wall
Fog Wall
1 month ago

Making An Entrance
~Fog Wall

Veivaun stood firm on a high branch of an elder tree, these trees easily stood over two hundred feet high and this one allowed for a view over the wall. The city that sprawled behind the transparent dome was incredible, brightly lit against the night sky, no stars were visible.

It never occurred to her that they’d be able to fly. The lights were dazzling, almost hypnotizing. Signs in a foreign language were huge, standing tall over buildings or floating between the wide avenues between them. Those inside were like ants on a hill. Everywhere she looked were lines of flying lights, small things floating seamlessly as if the dome were filled with water.

She sighed and looked up at the starless sky above. Not a sound escaped the city and the sound of wind torn branches broke the summer’s peaceful silence. No one lived near this wall. It has and will always be a cursed place. No magic dwells within’, or so the stories go. Few, if any, have been inside and come back. Legends have it that those inside are centuries ahead of us, capable of magic beyond that of even the elder gods.

“I’ll prove them wrong. With this magic of mine.” She murmurs as she opens her hand. A ball of magma materializing from thin air. Veivaun held the ball out as it grew. Giving it all the magic, she could spare, she moved her hand from palm up to palm out and launched the orb at the glass just above the black wall.

The magma she channeled easily melted the dome, giving her an entry point. Stepping off the branch, a disk of floating ice gripped the bottom of her boots as she crossed the gap and into the city. With each step, the ice from the previous step disappeared behind her. Once inside, she turned and conjured ice over the hole, making sure it would stay at a sub-zero temperature.

“Now that I’m in, there’s no going back.” Sadistic laughter overtook her composure as she descended. “Let’s let the Gods decide!”

1 month ago

Left to My Own Devices

I heard Ara staccato footsteps, heart pounding with excitement, I jumped from behind the corner.


“Oh my God!” His eyes widened with a brief moment of fear.

I held my pose and watched as he scrambled backwards and papers scattering, and Ara falling on his ass.

“Fyke! Why do you look like a ghoul”

“To scare you.”

Ara sighed, and pinched the bridge of his nose “I should’ve never taught you that spell.” He gathered his books and papers and regained his composure before turning back to me.

I stared, and I stared, and I stared with a giant grin on my face tilting my neck ever so lightly and with widened eyes.

“Stop it, you’re freaking me out Fyke.”

“I can turn myself into anything, wanna see?!”


I chanted the spell and envisioned going from a ghoul to a long sword.

“And now I’m a sword!”


“Let’s go prank Di!” Thinking only of Di’s reaction.





“No, I’ll just leave you here and go on about my day.”

My hand touched the inside of the blade, and through the reflection of the blade I watched Ara stride away and I felt a wicked grin spread from ear to ear.

“I’ll tell her you like her.”

I watched him freeze and slowly turn back around, and as if in slow motion walked back to me.

“What do you want me to do?”

I only smiled more, eyes shining like the blade I turned myself into.

“Alright, remember the plan?” I asked.

“Yes, Fyke I remember, how could I forget it’s the stupidest plan I’ve ever heard.”

Ara grip tightened before rushing out and attacking a dummy and shouting, “I’ll save you!”

Di looked up from her phone, unphased, “What are you two doing?”

“I’m a sword,” I spoke up.

“You can turn yourself back to normal now,” Ara’s grip loosened.

We all stared at nothing as I chanted the spell and nothing happened.

“I can’t,”

“What do you mean you can’t?” Di asked.

“Spell’s not working.”

“You’re stuck?” They asked.

“I’m stuck” I confirmed.

Last edited 1 month ago by koryan94
1 month ago

The other side
By: Boople

Bailey was disgusted that she had gotten used to the smell of this room over the past three days. When she first woke up she tried to bang and claw at the basement door, desperate to get it open, but stopped when she realized that the echoes she was making were the same that had been disturbing her sleep on and off for the past month. What had finally tipped her over the edge that night was when she swore in her tired delirium that she heard her very own voice crying out for help.

When Bailey first opened the door her senses were assaulted with the stench of rot, she failed to find its source however, when in the darkness she saw herself pounding on the other side of an old mirror. As their eyes met the reflection’s face lit up with excitement,

“Oh thank the stars! Bailey, please! Please help me out of here!”

“I don’t… I don’t know how-”

“Please just,” the reflection paused to compose herself, and simply put out her arm, as if to be rescued “Just grab my hand.”

Bailey hesitantly began to reach out, and whether it was her tiredness, the smell, or the darkness that kept her from thinking she plunged her arm into the mirror. It felt cold when her and the reflection met, and pulling her through the mirror was paired with the sounds of scraping glass.

The reflection of Bailey took a deep breath and looked around in wonder, staring at the ceiling in jubilation, not quite fitting for a rescue. Taking a step back to contemplate the situation, Bailey’s heel was stopped short, and turning around she finally found the source of the smell. The bloated, bloodied and rotting corpses of her family. She almost tripped over them in horror, becoming acutely aware of how sticky their blood had made the floor. Fumbling backwards she fell into a pair of cold, glassy arms.

“Thank you Bailey, you really do have a lovely life.”

Her teeth cracked as the reflections fist hit true, knocking her out cold.

1 month ago

He Needs His Alone Time (Chronicles of the Dragon: Caitlyn)
By: Makokam

Caitlyn pulled her bike up to the gate and took her helmet off.

The train yard was all but abandoned. Every once in awhile, an engine would come through and drop some cars off, or pick them up. For the most part though, it was ignored and had fallen into disrepair. It had gained a reputation for being a place frequented by delinquent teenagers, drug dealers, and hobos.

Jonathan enjoyed coming here. He said it was a quiet place where he could think. Once he brought her there, she had to agree. While it was still full of rusty, dangerous equipment, she hadn’t seen any sign of anyone besides Jonathan there.

She suspected its reputation was people trying to scare kids away.

The gate was hanging off its hinges and she squeezed through into the yard. “Jonathan! Are you here?”

It wasn’t unusual for Jonathan to disappear for a day or two, but he usually made some sort of excuse for where he was going, and he’d never been gone this long before.

Searching for Jonathan among the cars yielded nothing but wild animals.

Until she noticed the closed car.

Jonathan had told her to NEVER close the doors, because the locking bar could fall and you’d be stuck. It was hard to believe he’d have let that happen to him, but it would explain where he’d been.

She jogged over, calling his name. There was no answer, but she figured she should open it just in case. As soon as she started to lift the bar, his voice roared from inside, “DON’T OPEN IT!”

Relief overcoming shock, she yelled back, “Jonathan! You’re okay!” and she started opening the door again.

“STOP!” A bang shook the car. “Don’t… open it. I… locked myself in. Okay? Don’t- Please leave.”

Caitlyn stepped back in confusion. Then she shook her head. “No. This is dumb. You can’t stay in there.”

He shouted for her to stop again, but she’d already lifted the bar and was opening the door.

The impact sent her spinning to the ground. She looked up and Jonathan was gone.

Ethan Jesse
Ethan Jesse
1 month ago

Above the Sodden Men
By Ethan Jesse

To believe would disgrace the garnered self. To allow for great release would be to soothe the aching mind.

Beyond the veil of pleasantries and behind the gathered truth, there’s only that which whispers throughout the brazen head. Inside the blissful morning and without the fear of night, the people wane and cry again, for never were ye of them. Never were ye a pauper, yet a fool to be taught, not seen. Never were they but soaked in pleasure, beyond the scattered root. Of man you lot are, yet of men you’ve become.

Dear hatred, dear sorrow, dear modest things and pride, ye make a chore within life we lead. To survive was a cause, yet, truly, no purpose. Why, I know not, for I, too, adore the sunsets, pretty lights. I, too, am a man among men, who, despite my pained cries, am a neigh a god’s summit. Think not that I am still, stood idle in your world. Prithee, think not I lack care for your pleas. I hear them, I feel them, but something is amiss. No mistake, I am a man by blood, but I am not of the men who feign company. My friends, here me, we needn’t be apart, for we push by the same blood towards the familiar yet fleeting goal.

To catch the sun, to gaze the void, to wield the blade, to cut away…But ye’ve caught your path, seen it through. I feel your pain, yet ye turn away. I feel vile in your presence, I ache to hear your truths. I hate to know that I am astray, apart from ye who know better. A wish to learn, but be not taught; Fickle, it may be. But I, a man, as one you could know, cannot let go in the end. Soaked we are, with taints of all worlds. And so, away I shall gaze, without ye or your truths by me. And only may I hope, in my path beyond light, that I may learn the truths and sing about that I stand above the sodden men.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ethan Jesse
Anton Kragh Paaskesen
Anton Kragh Paaskesen
1 month ago

Bonds of Witches Somehow the village still looked recognizable. How so I couldn’t say. But anyone who’s experienced something similar will tell you, you don’t just forget such a place. It’s always with you. Always looking. Recognizing what you’ve done. Traces of the sickness was still visible. It was in the faint violet hue of the ground. In the vile growths on buildings and abandoned horsecarts. And in the rot of plant life everywhere. But most obviously in graves build on the sides of the road. Some of them are empty naturally. Corpses were infected. And the ground was sick enough as is. “Claire” That voice. No. It couldn’t be… what was she doing here. I turned around. It was her. Eleanor. Did she follow me all the way here? To these blighted lands. “I finally… Pant… caught up with… pant… you” Every word sounded strained. Her normally neat hair was in tatters. How far did that fool run? I turned away from her. “You shouldn’t have followed me, Eleanor”. “Why?” Even without looking at her, the pleading was as plain as it was painful. “What is so important, that you can’t even rely on me, Claire?” Stupid Eleanor. She came all the way to help me. Of course, my words would be wasted. Nonetheless, I still tried to reason with her “This is beyond what a novice witch is capable of Eleanor. Let me deal with it”. “And you’re capable of it?” Desperation was clear in her voice. She really was serious. “How do you know, you can perform this spell alone, Claire? Are you that much more advanced than me?” My voice was growing harder “I know, you’re not advanced enough, so butt out!” “And do what? Just stand and watch as my best friend kills herself performing a spell, she isn’t capable of? Just to save her pride?” “This isn’t about pride!” I turned around to look at her. Fury was plain to see on my face. “I’m doing this because it’s my responsibility. And you are getting in the way. So for the last time. BUTT. OUT!”. Eleanor stood. Obstinant as ever. That girl was nothing if not persistent to a fault. And yet. In those shining blue eyes, a hint of something shattering was visible. And the next word was gutting. “You always say that Claire. Always trying to accomplish everything by yourself. Do you have that little faith in me?” Tears were brimming in her eyes “Am I that useless to you”. Too much. It was too much to look at. Why did Eleanor insist on getting involved? Did she not notice the smell of death around her? This was dangerous. This was my fault. My burden. She couldn’t be involved. Warmth engulfed my hand. A familiar shape was grasping it. I looked back and saw those same kind eyes gaze at me through that tear-streaked face. That same bright smile wouldn’t be deterred. “You don’t know me, Eleanor” my voice couldn’t muster its… Read more »

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
1 month ago

by Lee Strangely

Edward never sleeps. In fact, he has never slept. Sure, he goes unconscious once and a while, but one can hardly call that slumber.

“Henry?” Edward groaned.

As his eyes adjusted to the sunlight pouring through the window, the site of his cramped little apartment began to draw his attention. He had grown quite used to his gray, barren, and yet still dingy room. It was one of the few things he could really call his own… even if Henry still paid for it.

His squinted at the colors and bits of elegant furniture that now inexplicably lined the room, “I see you’ve, redecorated…”

He shifted around in his bed until finally sitting up… only to feel something pull his arm. Yanking away the bedsheets, a chain poked out from the framework and to a cuff holding his wrist.

“This is not how you treat those close to you Henry… especially as close as me…”

Edward yanked the chain.

“What did I do? Is it about the kid? Come on! It wasn’t my fault; he shouldn’t have been out that late… It was an accident! I didn’t mean to trample the little rat- RASCAL. I didn’t intend to harm the little, rascal…”

He turned to the window, “I can’t be held in here. You know why? Because you can’t either…”

“You, have a life. People would wonder… Which means you can’t afford to throw away the key further than arm’s length.”

“Can’t just call for someone to open the door for you, can’t risk them seeing… us… I know you have a way out.”

His eyes drifted, eventually falling a mirror next to him.

Edward jerked the chain and the bed connected to it hard, “HENRY! I will NOT be CHAINED like an ANIMAL!”

He sulked, “I never locked you out. Never tried to bury you… Never left your side…”

“Yes, I’ve always been there with you,” he faltered, “And yet you, are never here with me… and somehow, I’m the one called Hyde.”

1 month ago

By spook

A drawing was the perfect way to experience the world. Peeking through the blinds, tool in hand and canvas before her. It was distant, safe, perfect. Could she capture that boy with his balloon, the way it shined? How about the way those leaves bunched? New page, time to draw that yellow car. Like a lemon baking on the pavement, reflective of the nurse who owned it with her wrinkles and aged skin. What was her name? It didn’t matter. New page, that man’s shirt seemed such a cheerful green. It reminded her of when-

Oh, the boy had lost his balloon. Look how it flew away on eager gusts of wind. Why was he looking at her? Ignore that. New page. Draw the balloon in the sky. Look down. Her impression was lacking something. Missing the motion, feeling, flight, freedom. Were all of her drawings so inadequate?

Past page. Her drawing couldn’t convey the way the man’s shirt gained magical new stains every day. How it bulged with his laughter on Sunday evenings. Past page. Where did the yellow car go every night? Did the nurse have a family? Did wind ripple the leaves? And the boy. She knew him far better than she could draw him. Where had his smile gone? Why did he no longer run, and jump, and play, and cheer, and love?

She dropped her crayon. She peeked through the blinds again. The man was pulling the boy away. Her boy. She looked down at her drawings. How could a tool and sheet of paper capture the joy, the terror, the songs, the glory? To feel those things again she would need a much closer look. She flipped over the page.

A drawing was not the perfect way to experience the world.

1 month ago


By Vex

Throughout all the years I have lived on this planet, I have seen many things. I observed triumphs, downfalls, happiness, sadness, death even. All these people, with different lives and different experiences. Observing them I noticed a pattern. It was in the subtext of their speech. A hesitancy to speak, a masking of their words, everyone in their own way was wearing scars over their lips. The only exception to this was the children.

Children I find have little scarring. You may call it innocence, or naivete, or artlessness. I, however, would call it their nature. While observing these differences, I have begun to find the same scars upon my own lips. Little nicks, cracks, and piercings. Not just on my lips, I found them all over, in my back, shoulders, eyes, just to name a few. Looking in the mirror, I found a new image, one of a child’s worn-out doll. As much as I tried to remove the scars, my body refused to heal. I do not know the source of them; I am too afraid to remember. Logic is telling me that these scars are relics to heal, unnatural things made to fade away. My body remembers, and whenever I try to speak or move through them, I end up frozen. A puppet tugging against its strings.

That was the case until today. I finally managed to speak through my scars, and I regretted it almost immediately. Those around me looked with a glare I instinctively feared. I felt like a child, young, and untouched. I was laid bare for the world to see, to judge, to criticize, to hate. Nausea threw me off balance, infernal heat blazing in my mind, crushing me, churning my vision until all I saw was their foreboding eyes. I had to escape, I had to leave that pain, that insufferable belittlement behind. So. I picked up a knife, and made myself some scars.

Last edited 1 month ago by Vex
1 month ago

Tiger in a Cage (Bureau of Public Safety setting)
By MasaCur

“The prisoner has arrived, Warden.”

Waden Sinclair looked up to Watson, a senior guard at the prison. “Thank you, Watson.” Sinclair stood up, straightened out his jacket, adjusted his tie, and took a deep breath. He was about to meet the most notorious prisoner Newgate would likely ever see.

Down in the admitting bay, a cage had unloaded from a transport wagon. Inside, manacled and chained, a middle aged man sat, his thick grey handlebar moustache making it clear to Sinclair who he was dealing with.

“Dr. Van Nilsson,” Sinclair greeted. “I understand you can speak English? Correct?”

Van Nilsson smiled, a predatory sort of smile that unnerved Sinclair. “Yes, of course. You must be Warden Sinclair.”

“You will be staying here with us in Newgate Prison during your trial for crimes of treason against the Crown. As I understand it, the evidence against you is overwhelming. And once you are found guilty, you shall stay here until your day of execution, where you shall be hanged by the neck.”

If mention of Van Nilsson’s fate was meant to wipe his smile away, Sinclair’s efforts failed miserably. The manic grin widened. “Is that so, Sinclair?” He lurched forward toward the bars, causing Sinclair to back away. He came short as the chains holding him to his seat were pulled taut. “Did it not occur to you that I was captured a little too easily? And now, I’m in the very symbol of law and order in the whole of the British Empire. Your prison, and the Old Bailey attached to it.”

Sinclair looked at Van Nilsson, and swallowed nervously. “I want him out of this cage and in his cell in five minutes, Watson.”

“Aye,Warden,” Watson replied. He summoned a few other guards to him, and one had unlocked the cage, while another hooked a catchpole onto the manacle around Van Nilsson’s neck.

“Warden, I must thank you for your hospitality,” Van Nilsson said, as he was released from the anchor within the cage. “I can’t wait for you to see what I have in store for you.”

1 month ago

Through a glass, darkly
by Aracnarquista

There is a whole world out of here. A world with people, events, sunlight, fresh air. The sound of children laughing in parks, the songs of birds chirping on trees. The smell of freshly cut grass, the aroma of petrichor after the rain. Simple feelings and complex arrangements making a whole world out of here, to be experienced.

But there is also a whole world just in here. Sometimes, this inside world feels more present, complex and vast than any world outside. Everything that is happening, is happening here. Every important news, and every small and inconsequential occurrence. Here, I have everything to keep me informed, and anything to keep me distracted.

In the palm of my hand, this small window contains the world – a whole world of shortened distances and compressed time that curtains me from the world of proximity and presence just beyond it.

I unlock the screen and lock myself from the lesser world. The one behind the glass is more to my liking. Eyes on the screen, it is clear I’m not available – or interested – in anything happening nearby. If you want, you can always send me a message. It will find me, on my own terms. My own world.

My own cell.

We are condemned to inhabit the worlds in which we are born. I am, however, condemned to inhabit this world of my own choosing. I was sentenced to its attention-trapping design by my own rule. I don’t really like it here. But I won’t escape. I doomscroll. I watch false lives, false people, false promises – all selling me false happiness. I connect with friends I never knew and will never know. I connect with friends who will never be my friends.

I willingly give the screen what it demands and captures: my undivided attention. I pay the entrance fee for the addictive world of lies and cheap emotions by freely sacrificing my time.

Again, I perform the gestures and trace the rite in holy observance. That world welcomes me. I unlock the screen, and lock myself from the outside world. Again. And Again.

1 month ago

The Intruder

By: Inferna

I don’t feel safe in my own home anymore. I have been chosen as the Beasts next victim, I know it. I just don’t know when it will take me.

I hear footsteps when I’m alone, voices in my ear, and even recently, I woke up with a freshly bleeding Mark on my forehead. It almost looked like a Brain, but it was muddled by all the Blood. It didn’t hurt until I noticed it in the mirror.

Someone’s at the door now. I feel their footsteps touching the ground outside, and their heavy breathing condensates on the windows near the door. I felt a fear I’ve never felt before. It chose to stalk me for months, torture my mind, make me paranoid. Is it ready to take me now? Or is it just softening me up and breaking my mind even more?

I don’t even remember the rush heading upstairs to my Bedroom. The door has a lock, but it wont hold forever. I clutch the knife in my hand so hard, the sweat is turning black from the color of the handle.

The front door is broken, I know it. The sound of broken Wood and the clanging metal of a broken lock and hinge is unmistakable, especially when combined with the heavy footsteps of the Beast.

I want to put something in front of the door, but it’ll be too loud, the fear is nearly paralyzing. The footsteps are getting closer now, just outside my door. My breathing is getting louder, even after trying to cover it up. Its breathing is getting louder too, closer. it begins to knock on the door.

The door doesn’t open thanks to the lock, the beast walks away, and the pain is beginning to fade away. I take some deep breaths and close my eyes in relief. I open them and freeze.

The Window is open, and I feel the warm breath on my back.

I feel a hand on my neck.

Last edited 1 month ago by Inferna
The Missing Link
The Missing Link
1 month ago

By: The Missing Link

Hot breath coats my helmet’s visor as warning lights flare. The hull is breached. I try to hide my limp as the remaining crew trample each other in a rush to the escape pods, but I’m falling behind.

I feel a hand clamp around my good leg, sending me to the deck faster than my mag boots can recover as the pod bay erupts in a burst of flame before vacuum consumes it.

I thrash at the hand and look back to see the captain’s trampled body attached to it. He looks in my eyes, all of the warmth of our first meeting gone, only a smoldering hate losing the fuel to burn.

The grip slackens, and I’m alone in the ship. No, not alone, I’d have preferred that. It… that thing from the planet below is still here, and it’s my fault. I should have known a piece of it had stowed away on my craft. They should hate me.

But it ends here.

Back on the planet, it shrank away from fire. I cling to the hope that means what I think it does, that there’s a chance, that it can be killed.

The lights shut out. My hands fumble to turn on my helmet’s flashlight as I limp over to the control panel. I break open the power box with a fist, relying on the power left in my mag boots to keep me out of the vacuum. I cut the wires, praying there’s no sudden surge. Nothing.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see it forming, reaching out and grabbing bit of human to graft onto its amorphous form as lifeless bodies swayed in the air around it, rooted like seaweed in the current by their mag boots.

There’s no time.

It coalesces into a human shape, features forming and deforming across its face as it glides slowly towards me.

I open the power supply on one of my mag boots and connect it just long enough to activate the self-destruct sequence.

It’s last face before the bombs go off is my own.

1 month ago

A Second Life
by Sooth

Jordan throws a ball against a house. Static noise.
“When I was five years old, I remained undefined. Open to anything, willing to learn whatever was put in front of me.”

A lean, shirtless Jordan throws a basketball into a net, rides a bus packed with other lean teens, kisses a girl. Static hisses.
“As a teenager, I leaned into…physical…activities. Basketball. Romance.”

Wearing glasses, a smiling Jordan pours a neon blue liquid into a vial. Static hisses.
“I went to college. Learned how to think critically. Learned to master a part of the world. I chose science. Who would have thought a jock would wantonly spread into physics instead of phys ed, huh?”

Hovering over a clearly incapacitated person on a long table, Jordan, wearing a clean white overcoat and a medical mask, makes incisions along printed dotted lines on a patient’s head. Static.
“Yeah, we fundamentally changed the world. Cybernetics via my splash nodes made weaving intricate wiring between biotech and biology possible. The first person who went from blind to being able to see thanks to my tech was grateful that I, specifically, went into the biotech field. Ended up funding much of my future research.”



Jordan wears a simple beige jacket and pants, walking down a sidewalk. A man with a gun walks up. Jordan begs to just take his wallet, or his watch, or his whatever, but please don’t do this. The gun goes off. Static noise.
“Right, right. The plan was preset. If anything happened to me, ever, put me in stasis. The math says I can’t be downloaded into a body for at least five years. I must accept the original death, know that death happened, and move past it first. I’ve done that. It’s been ten years. Why won’t you let me out?”



Jordan reads over some papers. Signs several of them. Static.
“I don’t understand. That’s just me signing the agreement to be uploaded to…”

Jordan’s body slides onto one of his famous tables. Static.
“Wait…I’m already out there? You’re saying I did this to myself?”

1 month ago

“A Job I Could Handle” (Shadows of the Stellar Age Setting)

By: Arith_Winterfell

I quietly shut and electronically seal the heavy steel door. How had I gotten myself into this one! I shake my head. I probably shouldn’t have taken this job in the first place. I stare at the glittering piece of tech. A prototype of a new computer architecture. The last treasure of the destroyed colony, Outpost Beta-9.

A low growling emanates from the other side of the sealed door. “Biiiitttcchh,” it breathes, “where are you?”

I shudder at the thought of that thing. All that remained of some poor colonist, their half-rotted corpse reanimated by alien fungus. Skull half exposed, as glittering filaments slid about under their skin, and it shambled through the corridors. I thought I knew what I had been getting myself into when I’d accepted the job. But . . . running into them. Seeing them. Smelling them. That damp moldy smell, the translucent slime clinging to their skin. This was all so wrong.

I hear disgusting huffing from behind the door. Quick heavy breathing. Like some manner of excited pervert hunting me. My own thoughts are making this worse. A low growl again, then the hard crash of the thing slamming into the heavy steel door.

I have got to find a way out of here! I can’t end up like them! I begin visually searching the room I’m in. Large computer screens showing scenes throughout the complex. Numerous figures lurching through the darkened halls. Some of those halls even blocked by large fungal masses holding half submerged figures in cloudy slime. I’m in a safe room. These are all consoles to various systems. Looks like the power core melted down some time ago, so there is only the longer lasting backup power still running through the base. Strange, someone had turned off the automatic defenses. Who would do that during an outbreak? It doesn’t matter. It looks like it still works! I activate the autonomous combat drones and watch the spider-like forms begin patrolling the halls. They should be able to kill these things, but will it be in time.

bobthepotato author
bobthepotato author
1 month ago

The water pounded on my windshield, the thunder rolled over the dark sky, the flashing lights from the lightning made it even harder to drive. As I pulled into the rock-scattered driveway I hopped out of the car and put on my cop flashlight to see through the pounding rain.

I kicked down the door and walked in I reached to turn on the light but it didn’t work. Making my small flashlight work, I squinted around, looking for evidence in the mentally ill serial killer’s house. I then smelt rotting bodies, I followed the smell and ended up looking at a door at the end of a long hallway.

I twisted the door handle and to my surprise, it was unlocked. So I walked in. There was a long rickety wooden staircase I slowly walked down the creaking staircase with my gun in my hand. Once I was halfway down the stairs I heard the door swing close by itself, I panted and sprinted up the stairs. When I got back to the door I turned the handle back and forth but it didn’t budge. “Goddamit I locked myself in the basement of a serial killer’s house, with a bunch of dead people with no backup,” I yelled, then I started patting myself down. Then I remembered I forgot my radio in the car. “Goddamit,” I screamed and pounded on the door. Then I heard the front door open, and I heard “Who’s that pounding on the door to the basement.” My heart skipped ten beats. I got to the bottom of the stairs and stood with my gun pointed at the door. Then the door opened after what felt like a century,

A man with a mask that what black with gray, and he was wearing all black with a bloody axe in his hand. I pulled the trigger but it didn’t fire. Then I remembered I forgot to load my gun and my amo was in the car. He inched down the stairs with his axe over his head. When he reached me I tried to run but my feet were glued to the ground he swung the axe like it was a magnet to my head.

1 month ago

Reading fireside

By Reidrev

TW: Misgendering

Morgan’s hiding place wasn’t impressive by any means. It was a tiny room packed to the ceiling with books, a dangerously large fireplace, and a heavy wooden door with a heavier iron key.

Morgan was sitting fireside covered in sweat, frenziedly reading a book with yellowed and wavy pages. It was about the sea and all the things that could be found in it. The young boy loved that book. He dreamt of sailing on the sea with his own boat and crew, made exclusively of friends and absolutely no bullies or parents. Of course, he didn’t have any friends, but he believed he would find some; the sea is vast, after all, much bigger than this minuscule floating island.

He added another piece of wood to the fire. Another droplet fell upon the paper, this one wasn’t sweat.

The boy didn’t want to be there. He didn’t want bullies, school, training, parents, mages; all sources of suffering, all monsters. Morgan was now bawling. The heavy iron lock, the door; those things he made a point of closing every single time. He knew all of them were useless. His parents could teleport in, and that would be it. They could choose to destroy everything in this room, and Morgan wouldn’t be able to lift a finger.

They would never say it was out of spite, Morgan knew that. They didn’t like considering him worthy of having feelings. They would shout, “Those works are outdated”, “the room is inconvenient”, “those books only speak of the world below.” They would say that, and they’d destroy everything Morgan held dear: the fireside and the lock and the books and the room.

A terrifying sound, like thunder whispering, echoed between the narrow walls of the room. A complicated sigil of light appeared on the floor, snuffing out the fire. As if emerging from a pool of black water, a tall, spidery woman with a calm, knowing smile stood from the sigil.

“There you are, Juliet. Time for training.”

1 month ago

All in My Head
by katerina/kapitan kat/wow_i_exist

It’s an odd case of finding comfort in isolation. Not specifically physically seeing as as little as it is, I do go out, and have fun. I have fun.

It’s simply a case of holding back, of locking away the unpleasant thoughts and feelings I get every now and then. It’s for the best really, because I know what would happen next. I would spiral and who knows how long it’ll take for me to break out of it, if at all. Worst case scenario, people get hurt. I don’t want people to get hurt.

It’s for the best. For everyone.

I’m not entirely sure if it’s best for me, but it’s what I want. I want the best. And holding everything back is for the best.

And I’m alright anyway. No one is hurt, and I’m fine. Totally, really fine.

I’m not naive. I know that in some cases this is not in my best interest; I know that I’m repressing my thoughts and emotions, but you are wrong to think that. I let myself express myself. It’s just that sometimes I can’t – force of habit, I suppose. I don’t know how. Not anymore, if I ever even did know. I probably never will.

But that’s for the best.

And it’s not like anyone else knows. Nor will they know.

Do I wish they knew? Sometimes. But what they don’t know can’t hurt them. And they’re already hurting. The only thing I can do is be there for them. Not venting out my problems, or drowning in self-pity because they don’t need that. They don’t deserve that. They need me to be there. To be good. A good friend, a good daughter. Repressing, isolating, holding back, but there. I’m here. Right here. Just here.

Not going anywhere.

And I’m happy. I really am. Those few, but oh so precious moments when we are happy. Unburdenly, unconditionally happy.

Those are the moments I fight for. The moments all those others of isolation and repression become worth it.

The only thing I pray for is that they can keep being worth it. Sometimes I get scared. Very very scared. I get scared. Sometimes…those happy moments do not come. Or sometimes not worth the pain. They’re not enough.

I want them to be enough. I need them to be enough.

Why can’t they be?

And it hurts. The lump in my throat hurts. The insignificant moments of repression and loneliness I have locked away in my own prison cell that is myself burst through the door and there’s nowhere to go.

But no one needs to know.

I can handle it.

I can be good.

It’s for the best.

Last edited 1 month ago by katerina
1 month ago

Adjustment Period
By ThatWeirdFish, edited by Specter

Agent Hawthorn ran a hand through his dusty blond hair with a sigh. His training with E.N.T. has prepared him for many things far beyond the norm. But dealing with a broody teenage cambion currently locked in the janitorial closet of the dorms was… surprisingly not one of them.

“Jones… why?” He asked wearily.

“It’s Ty.” The eye-roll was thinly veiled in Jones’ tone. There was the unmistakable thunk of an irritated tail swatting against the metal door.

“Your probation just lifted yesterday.” Hawthorn continued. “I can only bargain for grace for so long if you keep acting out like this. Let alone Captain Pike.”

“What else am I supposed to DO?” Ty snapped. “Sit around until I get called to be the lab’s demonic guinea pig? It’s boring as hell, man!”


“Yeah yeah.”

“I understand your frustration.” Hawthorn paused, hoping Ty was listening and not currently melting tools together. “I was enlisted when I was sixteen as well, and the waiting period to be approved for training is long but trust me that acting out will only delay their decision further.”

“What decision?” Ty scoffed. “I’m a menace to society they want to lock away.” He said mockingly.

“I don’t believe that. Your… living situation painted you in a poor light.”

“Keep my dad out of this.” Yellow eyes flashed from the shadows within the closet.

“Fine.” Hawthorn said after a tense pause. “This doesn’t change the facts. Your current behavior reinforces their conviction that you are a ‘menace to society,’ as you put it. I can’t change your mind, but I will ask you to consider the consequences of your choice to continue acting out.”

After a few heartbeats, an exasperated hiss echoed from behind the door. “I’m stuck.”

Hawthorn blinked at the unexpected answer. “What?”

“I was getting more dryer sheets and the door closed on me.” Ty shifted his weight as he stalled. “Okay, fine. I was stealing rubber bands too.”


“Honest Abe over here.”

“I will be back in five minutes with the key.”


“Five. Minutes.”

1 month ago

Trouble at the Zoo
by Shinigamma

Ross and Weddell were the newest employees at London Zoo. Which meant they got all the shit jobs.

“This doesn’t half stink!” moaned Ross, shovelling another load of elephant dung into the wheelbarrow.

Weddell took out a handkerchief and wiped his brow.

“I don’t care what Harp says,” he grumbled, referring to their no-nonsense supervisor, “I’m takin’ a breather!”

“Well said!” cried Ross, throwing down his shovel, “Nice five-minute break. Hopefully, nothing disturbs us.”

As if on cue, a terrible shriek erupted from the neighbouring enclosure.


Ross and Weddell looked at each other, then hurriedly released each other’s quivering bodies.

“Someone’s in trouble!” cried Weddell, sprinting off before Ross could stop him.

The two raced around the corner to a set of solid iron doors. Both employees squinted at a rusted sign hanging on the wall, managing to make out just one word:


“SO! MANY! OF THEM!” came the shrill voice yet again.

“We must do something!” said Weddell. He grabbed the door handles and pulled madly at them.

“Are you insane?!” yelled Ross, “There’s bears behind there!”

“I CAN’T BREATHE!!!” screamed the voice.

“Doors are locked,” said Weddell. He turned around, “We can’t just do nothing!”

“I agree,” said Ross, “What we should do is retreat to a safe distance, inform our supervisor, then- WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

While Ross had been talking, Weddell had gone back round the corner, grabbed the wheelbarrow full of elephant dung, and begun a headlong charge towards the sealed doors. Ross didn’t have time to get out of the way.


Men, manure, and wheelbarrow tumbled through the doors, and at the feet of a very bemused little girl.

Oh, and several fluffy panda cubs.

“What the hell is going on here?” came the stern voice of Harp the supervisor. He glared at the two hapless employees, hands on hips. He then turned to the girl.

“Stella, what did I say about locking yourself in with the baby animals?” he scolded.

“Sorry Dad,” said the girl without a hint of regret, “But these panda cubs… they’re just SO CUTE!!!”

Chaz Jazzman
Chaz Jazzman
1 month ago

The Mole-Faced Man
By Chaz Jazzman

A week ago I checked myself into the mental institute. I checked myself in after I realized I was insane. At first, it was just hallucinations, they started after the incident as I call it, after I was struck over the head with a hammer by the man trying to kidnap me, but I managed to evade them, I evaded the man with the giant mole on his cheek. But after that, I started to see disturbing things, shadows of things lurking, and waiting. Then the visions were everywhere, and I locked myself in my room to hide from them.

I knew I couldn’t go on like this, so I got in my car and checked into the Mountain Ridge Insane Asylum. The people there were great, I was given medications with every meal, and I had all different types of leisure time. They gave us books, art time, and courtyard time. It was great and in 3 days, all of the hallucinations were gone. However, after a week I missed my home and asked to be let out.

I was brought to see the person in charge of the asylum, and to my utter shock, it was the man with the mole on his cheek. After I requested to be let out he began to speak, “I see that your mental state is back to normal, but, you locked yourself in, and I cannot unlock you. HAHA, you evaded me once, but never again.”

Then, I woke up, in a padded room wearing a straight jacket. I was left in solitude for 3 days without any medicine or drugs, and that brings me to where I am now. Without all of the meds, the hallucinations are coming back, and I wish I hadn’t checked myself in, I would have been better off, not being held hostage by my hallucinations and the mole-faced man.

1 month ago

A Geologist, A Sasquatch,
Aliens stroll through a door.

By Shawnee Bysh

The Catalina Foothills are breathtaking as the sun sets below the horizon. The barren, mountainous landscape is becoming darker as time passes. While shining my helmet light on a piece of rock face, I heard a strange echoing sound that trailed through the nightfall, as a gentle wind grew stronger and passed me by. Once in a while, I observe a desert rodent outsmarting a fox far away, or even a pair of cougars on the hunt for their next meal. Just before eleven thirty, the evening’s quiet’s disrupted by a loud, strange noise, so eerie.

It was then that I noticed something of a mysterious size heading towards the base of the great foothill. A light and a strange creature were sighted near the horizon, moving towards the same spot. I lifted my binoculars to get a clearer view. Only to realize something’s blurring it. I wiped and wiped the lenses in futile attempts to clear up the view. Only to be thwarted by whatever it is doing. So, I threw them down as I grabbed my flashlight and bag instead, heading towards where I’d seen them. It’s almost one o’clock in the morning by the time I’d reached the caves. Strange thing to find no entrance into the cave.

At all.

How can it be?

How, in god’s name, can there be no entrance to it? I felt around the rock face in the hopes I will find a way inside it. I did, to my astonishment. My hand brushes against what seems to be a mechanism that activates a door.

It seems to malfunction upon approach. I, with caution, attempted two, three, four wary times to go inside. When a shadow rushes across a distant wall, my bravery overpowered my fear of the door as I rushed inside and through the corridors. Another much taller shadow appeared to blacken the area with its size as if it’s night inside this strange place.

Great, you’ve locked us in again, haven’t you?

Where’s the key?

Oh great, somebody’s here.


The alien’s very annoyed to see me.

1 month ago

Compulsory Thirst.

By Galer.

This cell became his home. It was even remodeled for his tastes and his condition, the room didn’t have any windows whatsoever.

It was his refuge against the sun that he was allergic to.

His sanctuary in which he could try and live a pseudo-normal life until the situation stabilized so he could finally walk free from this place.

He hated needing to be holed up here, however, he lost his freedom thanks to that Strigoi.

If that escapee from Hell hadn’t screwed him up with this condition turning him into Moroi for kicks, Then Gary wouldn’t be forced to feed on human blood.

“It certainly doesn’t help that the fucking curse is compulsory,” Gary said bitterly while he took his special rations.

Human blood mixed with enchanted agents so the prions wouldn’t ravage his brain. It happened to other Moroi as their human body wasn’t designed for it. Not like the hematophagous.

He gave a sad smile. He was lucky to have a family that loved him even if he had this condition.

Others weren’t so lucky. When he investigated, he discovered the gruesome fate of some.

Abandonment, neglect, madness, treated as undead monsters when they weren’t. Undeath and mistreatment by misinformation.

Gary couldn’t help but feel angry, but what else could he do other than wait? No, he could inform people correctly about his condition, until Humankind could break this curse.

One that was let loose thanks to the Morning Star’s spite-fuelled attempts against god and humankind.

Only to make Innocents suffer.

All of this from that spat.

“…Bastard,” Gary thought, one he shared with a myriad of unfortunates across the planet.

He walked resolutely to his phone and talked with some contacts. Hopefully, he could make it so that people that had the same condition as him were treated fairly and not as monsters to be feared.

It was the least Gary could do now that he was in his cell for the sake of others’ safety.

He would reach as many people as he could. That, he swore.

Danny Gilhooley
Danny Gilhooley
1 month ago

The Hijack
By Danny Gilhooley

The car coasted along the plain. Bill had heard stories of how flat everything was out there compared to New York. Seeing it for himself, how every direction looked the same for miles, he realized how alone he really was.

And stiff. He hadn’t moved since the hitchhiker showed him the gun he had. He turned his head to Joan in the passenger’s seat. She was looking dead ahead as well.

He glanced in the rearview mirror. The hitchhiker was looking out the back window of the van. The pistol was gripped firmly in one hand. His suitcase was gripped even firmer in the other.

“Hey,” Bill said.

The hitchhiker turned around.

“How much further?” Bill asked.

“Oh, we have a way to go,” the hitchhiker said.

“I’ll need to stop the car soon. I have to stretch.”

The hitchhiker looked behind him again, shook his head, then faced back to the front. “Can’t do that,” he said. “There’s still a trail. I’ll let you know when we can stop.”

Bill turned his head to Joan again. This time, Joan sighed and started to move her hands. She was signing.

‘We need to get attention to ourselves,’ she signed.

Bill looked in the rearview mirror. The hitchhiker was looking out the back again. Bill took his hands off the wheel and replied back.

‘There’s no one here,’ he signed. ‘I can’t remember the last time we saw a town sign.’

‘This road can’t go on forever,’ she signed back. ‘Try to figure out why he took us.’

Bill nodded. “You can’t outrun the police,” he said.

“It’s not the police I’m running from.”

“Does it have to do with what’s in the suitcase?”

Bill heard the gun click behind him. Joan winced.

“What I have locked in here, is very important. And if it ends up in the wrong hands, then I’ll be lucky if the police kill me. Just drive.”

1 month ago

The unknown(EDITED)
by Dev

It was a rainy day. I was out shopping, I had to buy paper cutters, blades, compasses, and nails.
I wondered if the freedom that rain gives me would cease to exist one day.
I’ll be heartless, cold, and distant, these thoughts petrified me from deep within, I wanted to be someone else,
I wished to escape from that dread, that is deep within myself. I did not realize I was walking as if a man
Was stripped away from his chastity and was now forced to live the rest of his life in insanity. I opened my room and lit up some candles to make yellow bloom.
It had been days since I last met them, I didn’t want them, as it was so burdensome to be loved,
So agonizing to fulfill people’s expectations. I was always incompetent in consoling them. I did not hate them,
Quite the contrary, I loved them, but this voracious void in me, kept me distant.

I lay dead on my bed, then a thought came to me, I had a cigarette, I lit it and started to smoke,
I realized, in those smoky clouds of despair, disdain, denial, and whatnot that, SMOKE TENDS TO TAKE AWAY THE MIST, I realized I had been wasting my time for quite a while. I suddenly saw my scars while I was trying to relocate some of my unique cars, into order. That was a momentary bliss. The scars made me remember what I missed, I missed the absolute numbness that I got from pain… but in the midst of that chaos, I realized that I TRIED, I LIVED, I FAILED.
The reason was quite simple.
My constant fear.
Of What?.
I don’t know, that constant fear locked me somewhere along the line and I was too blind to see a simple trick in those retched and helpless times, though it doesn’t matter now, as even after seeing through the wall, I couldn’t bring up any solutions for that constant brawl.

I wish to transcend from this LOCKED ROOM, but I just can’t find the right key yet, no matter what I do, I feel like I have nowhere to go to now, or rather I don’t want to, perhaps I’m the most MISUNDERSTOOD?
Oh well, blame it on the locked room.

Last edited 1 month ago by DEV
1 month ago

THE UNKNOWN BY Dev It was a rainy day. I was out shopping, I had to buy paper cutters, blades, compasses, and nails. I wondered if rain, would one day, cease to exist for me. I wondered if the freedom it gives will cease to exist. Perhaps the last few things that gave me happiness would one day won’t feel how they should. I’ll be heartless, cold, and distant, these thoughts petrified me from deep within, I wanted to be someone else, I wish I could escape from that dread, that is deep within myself. I did not realize I was walking, walking as if a man Was stripped away from his chastity and was now forced to live the rest of his life in insanity. I opened my room, lit up the lights, more like lit up some candles. I had lights that were of shades of colors, one can’t even describe off, but they all seemed to be blue, so I thought it was better to be in partial darkness that is still going to feel like shades of yellow. It had been days since I last met with my family, friends, and HER. I didn’t want them, it was so burdensome to be loved, So irritatingly agonizing to fulfill people’s expectations. I was always incompetent in consoling them. I did not hate them, Quite the contrary, I loved them, but this voracious void in me, kept me distant. I lay dead on my bed, then a thought came to me, I had a leftover cigarette, I lit it and started to smoke it, I realized, in those smoky clouds of despair, disdain, discomfort, denial, and whatnot that, SMOKE TENDS TO TAKE AWAY THE MIST. It had been a while, I suddenly realized, I had been wasting my time for quite a while. I suddenly saw my scars while I was trying to relocate some of my unique cars into absolute perfection of order. That was rather a momentary bliss. The scars made me remember what I missed, I missed the absolute numbness that I got from pain, they made me remember how much I hate puny attempts of reigns, It made me remember how much I despise people who call themselves the supreme of a race, but in the midst of that chaos, I realized that I TRIED, I LIVED, I FAILED. The reason was quite simple. My constant fear. Of What?. I do not know, that unknown constant fear locked me somewhere along the line and I was too blind to see a simple trick in those tough and difficult and helpless and weird times, though it doesn’t matter now, as even after seeing through the wall, I couldn’t bring up any solutions for that constant brawl that was happening between my conscious and my body. I wish to transcend from this LOCKED ROOM, but I just can’t find the right key yet, no matter what I do, I feel like I have nowhere to go… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by DEV
1 month ago

Locked in Boredom
By Acecerak

Natalie, also called Nat by colleagues, was a very lonely, boring person, around 34. She had colleagues, few friends, no family to speak of. She worked a 9-5 Job in an office, stayed home on the holidays. The only wild thing about her was her brown and kind of scruffy hair. She hated that. 

One day everything changed when a guy in a suit with wild, jet-black hair, turned up on her doorstep and asked her if she wanted to be rich. She declined, thinking, There must be a catch, it’s probably a scam’. 

A week later, as she came home from work, that man was back. He asked her if she wanted to be beautiful. But she refused, thinking to herself, ‘He must be some kind of Door-to-door-salesman for beauty operations’.

A month passed before the man came back. This time, he offered her freedom. She wasn’t sure what he meant by freedom, so she asked him to clarify. He smiled, an honest, handsome smile, and he told her that he had the ability to give her anything she wanted, if she gave him some of her time.

She wasn’t sure what she could wish for, but she didn’t know right now anyway. She asked him: “Can I have some time to think about it?” He told her he could come back next week, then she could ask for all the things she wanted.

When the man came back, Natalie knew what she wanted. She asked to know his name. The man was stunned. He couldn’t tell her that.

She said she didn’t wish for anything then. Natalie threw her chance at a different life away, because she wanted to know who she was making deals with. Instead, she continued her boring life at her job, until she died in an accident.

Strong Berry
Strong Berry
1 month ago

Direct Hit (Credit to Aracnarquista for beta reading)
By Strong Berry

It’s been a few hours since the direct hit happened, and yet I’m still freaked out. I should sleep, and yet I can’t seem to calm myself. Maybe if I write this down it’ll make me feel better.

I think what affected me the most was the shock. I’ve been fired rockets at before, so when I heard the siren, I thought nothing much of it. It was always the same: Hear the siren, go to the shelter, wait, and then come out and continue your day. The explosions I’ve heard in those times were far, far away, so I’ve come to develop this… almost indifference to it. And then there was a direct hit in my neighborhood.

The explosion was the first time I’ve felt genuine fear from rockets. I don’t remember it too clearly, a tiny, very loud earthquake. When I woke found myself on the floor, muffled screams coming from outside. After a minute or two I got the courage to come out and see what was left of the building. It was very clear, the charred remains of the apartment. A terrible, smoking hole on the otherwise white and grey building.

On the street, the man who used to live in that apartment was tended to by a few paramedics. They were surrounded by a large crowd, so I had to get closer to see. I’ll never forget that face, charred, unrecognizable, marked by death. He didn’t survive.

It was only a few tens of meters away from my house! It could’ve easily been me, or my friends, or my parents. I wonder if I should sleep in the shelter tonight. That is, if I manage to get some sleep at all tonight.

Dear God, what has become of me? Is this all it takes to knock me down? Get yourself together, me! So there’s been a hit, so what? The fear will pass, and you’ll return to your life. It’s OK, you’ll be OK!

Desperate words from a scared little man.

Yes, I think I’ve decided. I’m going to sleep in the shelter tonight.

Last edited 1 month ago by Strong Berry
1 month ago

Trapper (Darkspell Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

Valerie stood with her back to what her mind interpreted as a wall, as she waited in one of the creepiest places the world had to offer: an empty hallway. Few things could be more uncanny than feeling the long stretch of indoors extending in two directions like a worm and yet be confined by two solid masses on the other sides.

Everything in Valerie’s very essence told her that she wasn’t supposed to stay here. Hallways had the uncanny ability to shepherd you along, silently telling you that you were expected to leave it as soon as possible.

In fairness to this particular hallway though, that feeling was augmented by the shadowy figures standing in front of her. The blindfold hugged her eyes tightly, yet Valerie knew exactly who and what she was confronted by. The baseball bats in their hands made that more than clear.

The doors were locked and so were the windows. Everyone was asleep and there was no way out of the building. Valerie touched the wall behind her with the palms of her gloved hands, tensing her arms, preparing.

“When you trespassed on our turf for the first time, we all looked the other way,” a harsh, male voice said. “Even when it happened a second time, we collectively decided to be merciful. But you’re on strike three, which means you need to be taught a lesson.”

Valerie’s senses switched between the three street gang members, each burlier than the other. Tattoos lined their arms and clean-shaven heads.

“Maybe I wouldn’t have to trespass, if you weren’t running extortion rackets in Guillaume’s Court,” she replied.

The response was laughter from three throats.

“You’re just some blind girl, locked in this apartment building. Who are you to tell us how we conduct our business.”

“I am the Nightguard,” Valerie’s dream of the surrounding reality began to take shape. “I’m not as blind as I look and I locked myself in here. And you with me.”

The grunts hesitated. Valerie began to dream that gravity around her was more of a suggestion than a law.

Reality obliged.

C. M. Weller
1 month ago

Call Me Hunter (By Name and By Nature) [Amalgam Universe]
C. M. Weller

Do not come near. I am dangerous. I know this because I am a killer. I have been killing ever since I could hold a weapon. Ants and magnifying glasses. Knives and dogs dumb enough to attack.

People stupid enough to anger me.

I am dangerous. What I do is wrong.

What I do is powerful.

It’s like an addiction, this power of mine. I can’t quit, try though I might. I tried to stay away. I tried to keep it to a minimum.

I failed.

My status, my privilege, kept me away from the cage I needed to keep the rest of the world safe. So I found something of a compromise. I found an old station that’s been abandoned for years. A floating hulk filled only with autonomous systems and its own wild ecology.

I am the apex predator here. Sealed away from causing harm to society. My father wouldn’t care. I do. Maybe that’s where I’m nothing like a normal person. Father causes harm with money. I’m abnormal enough to use blood. That’s not great for profits.

So I shut myself away. So nobody needs to die before they give the corporation all they can give but their lives. I don’t understand the art of it. I just want the power over life and death. The power over bloodshed.

There’s plenty of lives on this old station. Plenty to hunt.

I’m happy being alone.

You who call yourself Alliance. You who call yourself the Cogniscent Rights Committee. You who call MY world a deregulation world. Stay away.

If you come on board my station, I am hunter.

You are prey.

Last edited 1 month ago by C. M. Weller
1 month ago

Fire Against Fire
by Jacob Mays (aka SirPogsalot)

It’s a cruel fate that sees us sealed away for sins we had thought absolved. Yet it’s a fate of our own making. And indeed, my own choosing.

When great evil threatens what is true, the weak look to the heroes of the age for answers, expecting these pillars of chivalry and virtue to fight back the darkness and reclaim what was lost, as they always do. Good always wins in the end.

And so it has been for eons. An evil would rise up, from a dark sorcerer, a power-hungry madman, or a vicious warlord. Yet inevitably, a hero would arise–oft more than one–and vanquish the evil, to the celebration of the realm.

Yet what happens when a force of evil vanquishes another such evil because the heroes cannot? Darkness against darkness, death against chaos, while the heroes and commoners alike watch on in shock. Fools! Do they truly believe that goodness and purity can outdo ruthlessness and power?

Swiftly they found themselves rid of that notion, when the Grey swept over our home and corrupted it to the core. They could do nothing to stop it–nothing their boundaries of ethics would allow.

But I? I had no such boundaries. This they knew, and they came crawling to me for help, begging me to save them from the impending threat. And save them I did–through sacrifices they were unwilling to commit. They knew what had to be done. And they knew what would be required of them, were they to do it. But they could not bear to tarnish their sinless souls, even in the face of impending doom.


When they called for help, I answered. I did what they could not–would not. But I was no hero. No celebration awaited me. Only hatred, fear, and disgust.

Now, for their sake, I am sealed away. An evil against an evil. Was my victory penitence for my crimes? No; an evil I remain, and so I choose to be sealed here. But they shall never again have my aid.

They shall learn to fight fire with fire.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jacob
1 month ago

Beauty and The Beast
By Marx

This won’t end well.

I know this.

She knows this.

We have no choice but to know this.

We are diametrically opposed in every conceivable way.

From the physical to the spiritual to everything in between, anything that happens between us is fated to end in the destruction of one if not both of us.

Given that even the mere idea of her destruction is agonizing to me, logic would say to avoid this by any means necessary.

And yet…

We don’t.

I don’t…

This is all new to her, but I have no falsehoods about what this is.

This pull…

This yearning…

This need…

I’ve felt love’s entrapment before. I’ve felt its glorious inferno. That unquenchable flame that burns and binds. Drawing you into its orbit. Leaving you weightless and exposed and utterly vulnerable to its overwhelming power.

I’ve also felt its loss…

I’ve felt how empty and meaningless the eternal void of existence is without the face who becomes your every breathing moment.

How could I possibly allow myself to feel this way again?

It’s inconceivable to even imagine it.

And yet…

I did…

I tried to ignore it.

I tried to fight it.

But when it all comes down to it…

I love her.

I love her so much that I’m willing to ignore how her holy light and my demonic darkness corrupt each other in a swirling storm of chaotic disarray.

Her perfection is agonizing for an infernal beast like me to behold and not only do I not care…

But with every beautiful smile…

Every warm embrace…

Every chaste kiss…

…I crave that pain.

I allow myself to be swallowed whole by love’s pull once more, regardless of the consequences.

Yes, I know this won’t end well.

Fate has a way of… punishing those who foolishly spit in its face.

But regardless, I choose happiness.

I choose to be with my perfect angel.

I choose to enslave myself to love’s siren call once again.

And whatever may come of it, I know we’ll face it together.

From now until the end.

1 month ago

Never Take a Vampire on an Exploration Mission

Helena and Astrea wandered the abandoned laboratory, cautious of broken beams and crumbling floors and ceilings. They still hadn’t found the exit.

“I’ll check down this way,” Helena said, nightborn eyes already seeing a door down a darkened hallway. “Why don’t you continue forward and contact me if you find anything?”

“Sounds like a plan,” Astrea said. She hadn’t liked any portion of this laboratory. It looked too much like home, and nothing like it at the same time.

Helena worked her way down the pitch-black hallway. Her red eyes absorbed every square inch of light they could, giving her only the briefest warnings of debris on the floor, until she reached the distant doorway.

Looking in, she only saw blackness, but a faint, red glow on a distant wall. None of her heightened senses felt the presence of anything living, but the room still felt like she should not be there. She took a deep breath and entered anyway.

Working her way around the wall, she discovered that the red glow was a faded sign that read “EX-T.” Their way out.

Just as carefully, she made her way back to the doorway, to find it had shut behind her. She tried the handle, but it did not turn. There was no locking mechanism on her side, either.

“Astrea,” Helena called through their mental link. “I found an exit, but the door locked behind me.”

“I’m on my way,” Astrea replied, although Helena thought she heard the hint of a snickering laugh in her mind.

She tried the door again, but it would not budge, but she did feel a prick on her finger. A splinter.

As she removed it, she recalled the curses of her condition. Stakes, garlic, silver…


She tried pushing the door this time, only to find herself toppling over into the hallway, finding Astrea laughing over her.

“I was here the whole time, but holding the door shut on you was just too funny!”

Helena picked herself off of the floor, punched Astrea in the shoulder, and the two continued to the EXIT sign.

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
1 month ago

Trapped in the Shed

By Tamela Redfin

Mally hummed to herself as she worked. She loved the feeling of dirt between her fingers and the feeling of the water beads dropping onto her hands.

“There! Aunt Cora will love the look of the flowers she planted.” Mally wiped chunks of dirt off her hands and tried to open the door. “Huh. It’s a little stuck.”

She rattled the door a bit more, but then her heart started racing. She was locked in. She looked at the window, but it was too small for her to fit in.

Mally beat on her door. “Come on, come on. Nora! Nora, are you there?”

No response.

“Mom? Dad? Anyone?” Desperation grew in her voice. “Someone will find me? Right?”

The day got darker and Mally sat against the wall. Dusk was crawling in. Mally listened. Someone was outside.

“Who’s there?” Mally called out.

She could hear the feet go faster. “Is someone in there?”

“Yes! Can you get me out?” Mally asked. A second later, the door opened and she saw someone she’d never seen.

They had short brown hair, deep blue eyes, pale grey skin and sharp claws. Was this another cypha? Mally reached her hand out.

“Hi there.” She shook his hand. “I’m Mally. I’ve never seen you before.”

“Hi Mally. I’m Jasper.” He smiled back. “What were you doing in there?”

“Taking care of the plants, but then I got locked in. Anyway, I should get home. I bet my parents and aunt are looking for me.” She flipped her red hair and showed off her earrings.

“Wait, who are your parents and aunt?” Jasper asked.


When Jasper went home, he told Sapphira about his adventure.
“Wait, you met the president’s niece?” His sister, Sapphira gasped.

“That’s what she said.” Jasper insisted. “Mally Aldebrand was her name.”

“Was she a redhead?” Sapphira teased.

“Yeah, actually she was. I don’t get it.” Jasper tilted his head.

Sapphira only laughed.